Taipei MRT offers free rides
The section of the Taipei MRT’s Xinzhuang Line between Fu Jen University Station and Huilong Station is to open at 2pm tomorrow and will be free to the public for one month. Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) told a press conference yesterday that the section will improve ease of travel between Taipei City and New Taipei City (新北市) while the final section of the MRT’s Luzhou Line is being completed. According to Taipei Rapid Transit Corp, the section of the Xinzhuang Line will be free of charge for passengers who use EasyCards, until July 28. The company said it estimates about 21,000 passengers would take advantage of the offer every day. As to the safety of the line’s maintenance depot and ongoing disputes over the preservation of Losheng (Happy Life) Sanatorium, which was partly demolished to build the depot, the city government said the construction of the maintenance depot in Xinzhuang is scheduled to be completed in 2017. In the meantime, the department will use part of the Zhonghe Line maintenance depot for train storage and emergency response measures.
Tainan to host mango fair
Greater Tainan, the nation’s biggest mango-producing area, is to hold an international mango festival beginning on Saturday to boost exports of the fruit and promote tourism to the region, the Greater Tainan Government said. Tourists, traders and buyers from around the world are expected to attend the Tainan International Mango Festival, which will run until July 7 at the Tsou-Ma-Lai Farm, the local government said. The festival is to exhibit fresh mangoes, mango-based sweets and pastries, processed mango products and other tropical fruits and agricultural products, it added. A number of celebrities is to be invited to plant mango trees on Saturday, while a mango-tasting event for 1,000 people is scheduled for Sunday.
County denies carbon report
Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) denied media reports yesterday that state-controlled oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC) has buried compressed carbon dioxide in her county. Su said the CPC will have to apply for approval if it plans to bury carbon in Yunlin, but said that the county government has not received any application in that regard. The Chinese-language Apple Daily yesterday reported that CPC had already stored about 100 tonnes of compressed carbon dioxide in Yunlin early this year on a trial basis. Unnamed CPC officials were quoted by the daily as saying that initial evaluations found the storage conditions to be stable and that there were no signs of leakage, adding that CPC is also planning to store 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in Miaoli County. Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) yesterday said he was unaware of any such plans by CPC, adding that he will ask CPC and the Environmental Protection Administration to come up with concrete measures for any such project.
Arts awards announced
The National Culture and Arts Foundation on Monday presented its National Award for Arts to Oscar-winning film director Ang Lee (李安), playwright Chi Wei-jan (紀蔚然), novelist and poet Sung Tse-lai (宋澤萊) and composer Chen Mao-shuen (陳茂萱). An award ceremony will be held on Oct. 15. Each awardee is to receive NT$1 million (US$33,084) and a trophy.